My first week at ITN studios working with ITV News

On January 13 I pretty much grew up. I am now living in the big city of London and am working as a Digital Journalist for the ITV News website. I was so lucky to have been offered the apprenticeship for the year and apparently out of about 1000 people, what is that all about?

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A cute studio on Holloway Road is where i’m currently living, and yes that is the road where a couple of scenes in Luther were filmed. Remember, in that weird shaped modern-looking building? I say this because I was quite excited when I found out. I got pretty addicted to the programme and ended up finishing all three of the Luther series in one week! With my new job, maybe I could grab an interview with the director and beg him to make a fourth series.

I’ve already met some lovely people, got my own desk in the newsroom, found stories and published some reports for the site. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that some of the copy I’ve written is actually on the ITV News website.

I am so excited for the year ahead!

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Oh and my director, Tom Hill, from uptospeed had a lovely message for me on his own uptospeed blog.

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My published feature Christmas Temp 101

During my work experience at GoThinkBig I was asked to write up a feature for the site about how to turn a Christmas temporary job permanent. Have a read for my top tips on how to get the job, get transferable skills and get kept on!

My published feature- ‘Behind the scenes of GoThinkBig’

My online published feature- ‘Behind the scenes of GoThinkBig

After the GoThinkBig team had been reading my regular blog posts about my amazing work experience week with them, I was asked to construct it into a feature for their site. IGNORE THE HIDEOUS PICTURE OF MY FACE (can’t believe they thought that was appropriate-it’s only gonna scare readers off) Have a read anyway, just in case you fancy hearing more about GoThinkBig and my tips for work experience. 

Great news from GoThinkBig

So after my amazing week of work experience for GoThinkBig, I have just been told that my own feature I wrote for the site, ‘What is the key to a successful blog?’, has actually had the highest stats of views last week. How amazing is that?!

So I have broken an NCTJ record of over 6,000 views for my BU Naked Calendar report and now I have had the most views on GTB report. I must be doing something right!

Day 5- I went behind the scenes of ITV News

What a great day to end my work experience on! The amazing Camilla managed to get me space on the ITN guest list to find out want went on behind the scenes of ITV News.

There were only six of us at the GoThinkBig skills day and I felt so lucky to have been offered the chance to go there. Throughout the day we met all sorts of people, from the lunch-time program editor to the man in charge of safety for workers filming or reporting in war zones across the world.

The whole day was fascinating and omg I will never be able to watch ITV News the same way again! I was actually inside the news desk studio and London news desk where the news presenter is filmed! Well here’s a huge secret that you never knew… it is actually just a green screen room and all the background, even that lovely window overlooking the Thames, well it’s completely computerised!

You know when Steve Scott was presenting the ITV news lunch-time show today, yeah? I was watching it behind the scenes and got to see how the whole show was put together for the audience to watch! I couldn’t believe he arrived only 50 seconds before he was meant to be on LIVE air! I could definitely feel the tension and I felt a bit scared for ITV when he wasn’t even on set when they were expecting him! He was still sorting out his blazer when he had 3 seconds before the live filming! It was so crazy but what shocked me the most was how he managed to be laughing a second before he went live and then suddenly presented the news absolutely PERFECTLY. I was very impressed.

When I got back to the GTB office, after meeting some amazing people, I began working on my CV for future work experience.

Dan sent me the link of our Social Networking video and my god did it make me cringe. Like I said yesterday, my voice WAS squeeky and my hair DID look like I’d been dragged through a bush backwards. Very embarrassing but I was still so excited to watch it.

It was so sad to leave GoThinkBig after such an amazing week and been offered such great opportunities. I was really happy to hear that Molly wanted me to write another feature for the site to go up next week about my experience there. My Christmas Temp 101 piece will be going on the site next week- great news!

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My GoThinkBig goodie bag for my work experience this week

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My ITV News gifts from my day working with ITN

OH and I found out that my record breaking NCTJ uptospeednews report has actually, can you believe it, reached over 57,000 views. That is just crazy!

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My crazy mega views on my uptospeednews blog

Day 4- video reporting and making world records

Feeling touristy taking photos of the Big Ben and a cheeky shot of the London Eye in the background

Feeling touristy taking photos of the Big Ben and a cheeky shot of the London Eye in the background

The speed networking event in action attempting to break the Guinness World Record

The speed networking event in action attempting to break the Guinness World Record

Felt really posh in walking down Parliament Square in Westminster

Felt really posh in walking down Parliament Square in Westminster

It’s not everyday you get the tube to Westminster and get to see the amazing Houses of Parliament, so today was an usual and rather exciting one for me. At least now, when I’m writing my rolling Thursday News reports on PMQ’s at my NCTJ course, I can have a picture of the building in my mind while I’m thinking of what to write.

Unfortunately the first part of my morning was a bit of a disaster when, after arriving half an hour early too, I found out the video report was actually meant to be in ‘Haymarket, just off Trafalgar Square’. God knows why I thought it was in Westminster! I think someone mentioned it yesterday and I just must have got so excited at the thought of going there that it stuck in my head. Anyways I did get to play tourist for a bit and take a few pics.

I found a map and realised Trafalgar Square was only a 10 min walk away and headed straight there. I got there at 9 and after trying to get hold of Dan I thought they may have already started the videoing so headed back to the GTB office. But as soon as I got off the tube at Oxford Circus, I had a text from Stevie saying Dan was running late so come meet for a coffee while we wait. Then Dan calls me and LUCKILY he was on Oxford Street to so, second time lucky, we made our way to New Zealand House for filming. Little did I know that I’d actually passed the same building when I was on Trafalgar Square half an hour earlier!

Anyways, stressful start aside, filming the video report was amazing. We had arrived at a networking event that was attempting to break the Guiness World Records of hosting the biggest.  It was a bit scary talking into a microphone and being on camera, because firstly my voice always sounds so squeeky and annoying when I listen to it back, AND, I had just been walking through the blistering wind so my hair looked like I’d been dragged through a bush, backwards.

We decided to make quite a light-hearted and silly video with a challenge in the middle of Stevie and I competing against one an another to gather up the most business cards we could from the networkers. And can you believe it, I won! I also interviewed the founder of the event to ask him how the day was going and what his top tips for networking were. How exciting and scary at the same time! I was extra careful not to punch him in the face with the microphone!

After heading back to the studio and been given great advice from Dan and Stevie for my future career in journalism, I completed the hot opps task (browsing twitter and facebook, and basically updating my celeb goss) for Sadie. I then created the newsletter for GoThinkBig to send out to all their subscribers. That was so much fun, got to include the team’s celebration of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, my features I’d written, and the latest video report yet to go on the site. After this, I wrote another (more newsy style) report for the site about the latest Luxury Brand Management Programme City University London is offering for students.

To end the amazing day, Dan gave me some top editing skills to make ourvideo amazing.

Day 2- Part of the editorial team

I ended up arriving super early this morning, better to be safe than sorry I suppose! So I reated myself to a Pret Peach Green Tea- sooo refreshing-  and headed to my desk at GoThinkBig.

I was working with the editorial team today and sent staff writer, Stevie Martin, all my ideas for potential features for their site. To my delight they loved them and even allowed me to write up my own piece to go on the website.

I wrote my report on ‘What makes a successful blogger?’ (I know I know, hardly like I’m a famous blog myself) But I was interested to find a top 5 of the most inspirational bloggers and how bog-standard blogs can turn some one into an internet sensation. It is happening! Although not for me at the moment… Maybe one day!

Stevie taught me some valuable skills today. I was taught how to use the CMS of the site to upload my own feature and I also learnt how google ads can give you best tags to add to your post to get yourself noticed and people reading.

Throughout the day GoThinkBig hosted a mini cake sale of M&S finest and a few homemade treats to raise money for the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan. I bought a choc chip cookie (chose the biggest of course) and a chocolate melting syrup covered cornflake cluster- my kind of thing!  So sweet it’s sickly!

Since the new addition of the word ‘selfie’ has marked it’s territory in the dictionary, Stevie took a photo of the team to add to the twitter account.

After my day of publishing, researching and eating way too many sweet things, I went on an Oxford Street shopping spree. After fitting room after fitting room and the best pasta I have ever tasted, I was ready for bed.

A bit of politics revision and two practice papers for my business of magazines exam later, I am tucked in and cosy for my next big day tomorrow. However, I’m feeling slightly nervous about going out for lunch with Stevie, a professional journalist!

Wish me luck!